Home School Conventions are not only a way to improve your skills as a home educator, they are also an opportunity to save on the purchase of Curriculum that is often unique to homeschoolers. Much of it is curriculum designed by veteran home school parents which is often more effective than the traditional curriculum. http://www.hslda.org/docs/media/2009/200908270.asp
How To Prepare for A Home School Convention (http://www.thsc.org/Categories.aspx?Id=how-to-attend-a-convention)
The link above provides some valuable tips. Here are a few more:
- Beforehand visit your Homeschool Convention website (http://www.read-phonics.com/homeschool.html), and make sure you have the convention schedule, workshops, booths, ext. With that information in hand, visit the vendor websites for more information. Highlight everything that interests you, and meets your needs...you can narrow down the preliminary schedule later.
- Once you get there, spend the first day quickly checking out the booths you highlighted (we usually recommend making no purchases until the last day). The first day only last 2 to four hours, so don't spend too much time at anyone place. Be sure to collect the flyrs from any booth that looks remotely interesting to you. Now you can adjust your schedule based on what you learned on the first day.
- The remaining days is where the work begins. Decide which workshops you want to attend, and which booths you want to know more about. Many vendors provide free demonstrations on their curriculum. Take advantage of this opportunity if the curriculum is on your adjusted schedule.
- The last day is the day to complete anything not accomplished on the first days, and a time to make your purchases. Save all those flyers though, so you can visit their websites later if you so decide.
- Most Conventions arrange for discounts at one or more hotels, but you can often find bigger savings at near by smaller ones. Comfort Inn (http://www.comfortinn.com/?promo=gci119&cam=core_brand-comfort_inn&cha=pmfcore&seg=comfort_inn_exact&aid=8340748393&pkw=comfort%20in) is usually one of our favorites, but check out Hotels.com as well (http://www.hotels.com/?gclid=CJDy84fD56gCFc1a7AodoV33Hg). However it is very convenient to be located in the same hotel as the convention. If you have friends attending, consider sharing a room.
- At your chosen workshops take notes, and be sure to collect any information provided by the workshop leader. If you like their ideas, sign up for their free Newsletter. It is a great way to keep up with the latest information.
- It is often fun to meet up with friends at lunch time to share information and ideas.
- We will be providing a booth and workshop at the Florida Parent Educators 2011 Convention (http://www.fpea.com/convention/about/). But if our curriculum (learning disguised as a game) interests you, and you are unable to attend, call us..ask for the Convention savings opportunity (http://www.ringaroundthephonics.com/contact.htm). Here is our Flyer (http://educatorssite.com/?p=569&preview=true) which will be available also at the FPEA booth and our booth.